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Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life > Clothing and Uniforms

Date > 1600

Compagnies franches de la Marine (Warships)

Type: Document

The names of troops raised by the French Ministry of Marine often confuse people. There were separate units of Compagnies franches de la Marine to serve aboard warships. These troops had nothing to do with the Compagnies franches found in Canada.

Site: National Defence

Canada's First Warriors

Type: Interactive ResourceDocument

A slide show presentation of Native American dress from the 16th to mid-18th century.

Site: National Defence

Drummer, régiment de Carignan-Salières, 1665-1668

Type: Image

This reconstruction by Michel Pétard shows a drummer of the régiment de Carignan-Salières during the regiment's service in New France. He is wearing the livery of the princes of Carignan. The Carignan coat of arms is painted on his drum; the central shield of the arms shows a white cross on a red field. The drummer's role was to communicate the orders of his commander through patterns of drum beats. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

French soldiers of the early 17th century

Type: Image

These French soldiers wear a style of clothing common through much of Western Europe in the early seventeenth century. Note the musket rest carried by the man at left, and the pike carried by the man in the background. Mid-19th century engraving after a drawing by Alfred de Marbot.

Site: National Defence

Private, Gibbon's Regiment of Foot, Newfoundland, 1697-1698

Type: Image

Gibbon's Regiment was the first regular British army unit to be stationed in present-day Canada. Noteworthy on the English musket of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centureis is the 'dog lock', a kind of small safety catch attached to the gun lock to hold the hammer. Reconstruction by Gerald A Embleton. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Officer and soldiers, régiment de Carignan-Salières, 1665-1668

Type: Image

This reconstruction shows an officer and men of the régiment de Carignan-Salières during their service in New France. The common soldiers at left and right carry muskets. Hanging from their shoulder belts are the powder flasks known as 'the Twelve Apostles'. The officer (centre) carries a half-pike and wears the white sash of a French officer around his waist. Reconstruction by Francis Back. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Soldier in winter campaign dress, Compagnies franches de la Marine, 1690-1700

Type: Image

This is how a soldier of the Compagnies franches would have looked when on the march during the winter expedition late in the 17th century. Note his mittens, snowshoes and hooded capot. Reconstruction by Francis Back. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Sailors, Marine royale française, circa 1690

Type: Image

These French sailors are working on the running rigging of a warship. During the 17th century, the common sailors of the Marine royale française did not wear uniforms.

Site: National Defence

The Trip to the Recruit Depot

Type: Document

Once signed for service, the new recruits would be sent to a coastal fortress on one of the islands of France for training. This isolation made desertion difficult. After learning basic skills, the men were sent overseas.

Site: National Defence

Mixed Results

Type: Document

The first expedition by the Régiment Carignan-Salières was a fiasco, but it did prove that winter expeditions were possible. Important lessons about food, clothing and experienced guides were learned that would serve the French in Canada well later on.

Site: National Defence